MLT Group offers domain hosting and a variety of other website services, but what does it all mean?
When you first begin the process of a custom website design, it’s easy to get caught up in the design, color preferences, and functionality. But soon, the project manager will begin using terms that are unfamiliar to you. Worse yet, the terms may be familiar, but you’re unsure of the correct answers to her questions. The internet and all of it’s nuances can be a confusing place! Don’t worry though; MLT Group is here with a brief guide into hosting and service terms to help your website design and build out go smoothly.
To simplify things, we’ll be associating each part of hosting and web services with a familiar household item or service. At MLT Group, we love a good analogy!
Let’s start with the easiest part of a website: the domain name. The domain name (and URL) of a website is a unique name that identifies an item on the internet, like your website. For example, the URL for MLT Group is www.mltgroup.com, and the domain name is mltgroup.com. Essentially, the domain name is what is found after the www.
Think of a domain as a contact name in the phone book.
The next essential part is the IP address of your website. Also known as the Internet Protocol Address, this part of hosting has two purposes: 1) to host identification and location addressing and 2) to identify where the website is located. Because computers read in only code and numbers, the IP address is the number that your computer “dials” to reach your domain. For example, an IP address would look something like this: 188.8.131.52.
Think of an IP address as the phone number in the phone book.
Website hosting is much less complicated than it sounds. Your website host is where your website files are kept. It is similar to renting out a building for your business. Without a host, your domain becomes disconnected, like a phone number without a phone company to support it. Additionally, the web host translates the code of your web files into the visual images that appear on your website. So it is essential to the user experience of your website to have your website published with a web hosting service.
Think of web hosting as the drawer in which you keep a phone book.
Contrastingly, the DNS, or Domain Name System, is a more complicated aspect of web hosting and development. The DNS houses the information for each domain name and IP address of all websites. It is the main database of the internet, and the internet would fail to work without the DNS. It translates the information easily between the domain name and the IP address. Additionally, the DNS records must be pointed at the host of the website.
Think of DNS as the phone book itself.
A name server is usually taken care of by the web host of your domain, as well as other domains that may be hosted there. A name server has DNS software installed on it so that all of the address and location information is easily available. The name server is where requests from your local computer are processed and translated from human language to computer code.
Think of the name server as your location, such as a house, where the phone book is kept.
A domain registrar keeps track of who owns what domain name. This can be different or the same as your hosting company. You renew your domain with a registrar so that you and only you have permission to use that domain or web address.
Think of a domain registrar as a landlord.
An A Record is completely different from a DNS record. What an A Record does is attach a domain name to an IP Address, making the dialing process simplified for both the user and the computer.
Think of A Records as speed dial.
Also associated with web services is an MX record. A mail exchanger record (MX record) is a resource with the DNS that tells senders how to send an email to your domain. Email operates by another set of rules, just as complex as hosting and other web services.
Think of an MX record as a post office.
So there you have it! The most commonly asked about aspects of web hosting and other website services. Luckily for you, we can take care of them all!
When you need a custom website design in Rochester, Minneapolis, St. Paul, or anywhere else nation wide, just call on MLT Group. With design, optimization, video and traditional marketing services, we can help you handle all of your marketing needs. Contact us today!